The West Wimmera Health Service has launched a new podcast series aimed at rural communities and farming families under the name ‘Farmer Wants A Healthy Life’.

The Health Service’s Health Promotion team launched the initiative to start a conversation about a range of health and wellbeing issues facing farmers and rural community members.

A range of stories are told in the series – which currently stands at eight episodes – with farmers new and old, doctors, and other members of the community. The first eight episodes cover discussions surrounding depression and mental health tips, Ross River fever, prostate cancer, the successful Rural Outreach Program and much more.

At the podcast’s virtual launch, people were treated to a preview of an episode with ex-football player, John ‘Jumbo’ Sudholz, who shares his struggle with depression on returning to the farm after his AFL career. In a moving conversation, John talks candidly about the hard times he faced, and how he has learned to live with depression.

Hosted by well-known Wimmera identity, and mountain climber turned storyteller, Brigitte Muir OAM, the podcast series is full of heart. Featuring a variety of guests, from farming people sharing their stories to health professionals, genuine and open conversations are a hallmark of the podcast.

West Wimmera Health Service’s Health Promotion Manager Dorothy McLaren said that they want each episode to act as a conversation starter.

“The stories are about looking after you, whilst on the farm, and how the choices you make can change your life. Listeners get to hear from those that have done it, and we hope that this can be the start of a whole conversation for people to focus on their own health and wellbeing,” Dorothy said.

“We also want to hear from you! Once you’ve listened to an episode, please jump onto our dedicated social pages to share how you live a healthy farming life, and any questions the series raises for you.”

“Farmer Wants a Healthy Life is about hearing stories and sharing your own. Listening and mulling over how to live a healthy farming life.”

A recent post shared in the podcast’s Facebook group congratulated the podcast creators on a fantastic initiative. The post commented, “My wife and I absolutely loved all these Podcasts. In fact my wife was moved to tears and we found all the guests incredibly likeable and informed. Brigitte comes across brilliantly, so warm and real.”

‘Farmer Wants a Healthy Life’ is available on Apple, Spotify, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.